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Trump Administration Will Revoke Waiver Allowing California to Set Stricter Emissions Rules

A truck engine is tested for pollution exiting its exhaust pipe in Otay Mesa, Calif., September 10, 2013. (Mike Blake/Reuters)

The Trump administration will formally roll back California’s authority to set its own stricter standards for greenhouse-gas emissions on Wednesday.

The Environmental Protection Agency will revoke a waiver the Obama administration granted the Golden State to more heavily regulate tail-pipe pollution from new cars and light trucks.

“We will be taking joint action with the Department of Transportation to bring clarity to the proper — and improper — scope and use of the Clean Air Act preemption waiver,” EPA administrator Andrew Wheeler said in prepared remarks to the National Automobile Dealers Association on Tuesday.

California’s attorney general, Xavier Becerra, said the state plans to stand behind the stricter emissions standards.

“California will continue its advance toward a cleaner future. We’re prepared to defend the standards that make that promise a reality,” Becerra said.

Thirteen states and the District of Columbia followed in California’s footsteps, saying they would follow the stricter standards, meaning they would cover a combined 36 percent of U.S. auto sales if allowed to remain in effect.

The move to revoke California’s exemption is expected to trigger legal challenges from environmentalists as well as the auto industry itself. it comes as President Trump is scheduled to hold fund-raisers in Los Angeles and Silicon Valley this week.

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